Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

June 19, 2013

House of Burgess: War on Christmas, summer edition

Texas enacts so-called "Merry Christmas" bill.

In the ever-darkening days at the end of each year — when Christmas songs begin to fill the air — a simple thought never fails to amuse me. It’s the idea of the musicians behind those noises, and the conditions under which the songs were produced.

Christmas music isn’t generally recorded at Christmas. It just can’t be. It wouldn’t work. It has to be ready ahead of time. That has to mean while the band or artist in question is plugging away at, say, “Jingle Bell Rock” inside the recording studio, just outside their front door temperatures could easily be reaching triple digits. I was reminded of this personal joke a few days ago when I read about Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s signing of the so-called “Merry Christmas” bill into law.

“Surrounded by sleigh bell-ringing Santa Claus impersonators, Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday signed a law protecting Christmas and other holiday celebrations in Texas public schools from legal challenges — but also stressed that freedom of religion is not the same thing as freedom from religion,” reported Will Weissert of the Associated Press on Friday.

After I heard about this, I went and read the actual legislation, also known as House Bill 308. It’s short, but dumbfounding reading.

“A school district may educate students about the history of traditional winter celebrations, and allow students and district staff to offer traditional greetings regarding the celebrations, including: ‘Merry Christmas,’ ‘Happy Hanukkah’ and ‘happy holidays,’” reads the bill. “A school district may display on school property scenes or symbols associated with traditional winter celebrations, including a menorah or a Christmas image such as a Nativity scene or Christmas tree, if the display includes a scene or symbol of more than one religion, or one religion and at least one secular scene or symbol.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Scholarship a fine award Congratulations to Howard County high school seniors Joowon Lee and Graham Ortmann on winning a 2014 Lilly Endowment Community Scholarship. Lee, of Western High School, plans to attend Indiana University Purdue University-Indianapolis to study biolog

    April 24, 2014

  • STATE SEN. JIM BUCK: Changes pave way to a brighter future In recent legislative sessions, Indiana has enacted substantial policy reforms that resulted in greater economic freedom and stronger economic growth. Economic growth has real implications for Hoosier families: jobs for those unemployed; promotions f

    April 24, 2014

  • JEFFREY McCALL: U.S. networks struggle to cover economic news Network television newsrooms often must cover stories for which they have no internal experts. That's why aeronautic engineers and pilots are put on the air to analyze airplane emergencies. Judges and lawyers are paraded out to discuss whatever sensa

    April 24, 2014

  • LETTER: Tipton commissioner keeps agency matters secret Commissioner keeps panel matters secret An April 14 letter exposed the truth about a politician's actions vs. what he writes or says. The minutes from an Alliance Board governmental meeting indicated Phil Heron voted no for a request to allow public

    April 24, 2014

  • The progress we're making Every Howard County school district published an annual report in Tuesday's edition of the Kokomo Tribune. They're required by the Indiana Department of Education, and they're worth a read. The reports assembled the most recent data available on stud

    April 23, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: You've gotta keep 'em separated

    In my career as a journalist I have served my time reporting on city council, county supervisor and state regulatory meetings, to name just a few. Whatever else they might have been, they weren’t holy places. In the many, many hours I spent there I never felt the presence of anything that might be described as transcendent or spiritual.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • ANDREA NEAL: A committee of 10 picked Ind. capital Editor's note: This is one in a series of essays leading up to the celebration of the Indiana Bicentennial in December 2016. Anyone who's ever served on a committee can relate to the old laugh line: A committee is a group of people who keep minutes a

    April 23, 2014

  • LETTERS: Correct mistakes May 6; RNC & pals Voting mistakes can be corrected May 6 For the last several months, it seems that I keep hearing one recurring conversation. People cannot believe the arrogance being shown by some of our elected officials towards the people of Tipton County. The sam

    April 23, 2014

  • Take a stand this election Howard County Clerk Kim Wilson's office always is busy this time of year -- but more so before an election. Absentee voting for the May 6 primary election began April 8. We, too, expect more activity. We soon will receive an avalanche of candidate en

    April 22, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: Judge in gay marriage decision is no activist When U.S. District Judge Richard Young recently ruled in favor of a lesbian couple seeking recognition of their out-of-state marriage, opponents of same-sex unions called him an activist judge who was unilaterally trampling the law. The label didn't

    April 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Proposes Pay-for-priority Internet Standards Wife Mourns Chicago Doctor Killed in Afghanistan FDA Proposes Regulations on E-cigarettes Kerry Warns Russia of Expensive New Sanctions Mideast Peace Talks Stall on Hamas Deal Cody Walker Remembers His Late Brother Paul Grieving South Korea Puts Up Yellow Ribbons Raw: Kerry Brings His Dog to Work Raw: Girls Survive Car Crash Into Their Bedroom Three U.S. Doctors Killed by Afghan Security Yankees' Pineda Suspended 10 Games for Pine Tar Colleagues Mourn Death of Doctors in Afghanistan Ukraine Launches Operation Against Insurgents Obama Reassures Japan on China Raw: Car Crashes Into San Antonio Pool Time Magazine Announces Top Influencers List Raw: Angry Relatives Confront SKorea Officials Bigger Riders Means Bigger Horses Out West Yankees Pineda Ejected for Pine Tar Deadly Fungus Killing Bats, Spreading in US
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll